New Ideas for the Memory Binder (Part III)

Published on Sunday, April 12, 2009 in , , ,

BrainNote: If you like the idea of the Memory Binder, I discuss other ideas for it in Memory Feat Props, Memory Feat Props II and in New Ideas for the Memory Binder (Part I, Part II, Part IV).

Yes, I still have more ideas to share about the Memory Binder. Unlike Part I and Part II of this series, this entry won't deal with the poetry section.

How about an alphabet section? Sure, most people know the alphabet in its standard order, but what about in a completely different order? In Chuck Hickok's book, Mentalism Incorporated (Volume I), he teaches how to instruct an audience to learn the alphabet backwards in less than 5 minutes. Even if you don't have this book, the approach is a public domain one, and easy to find on the web. It's taught on an instructables.com page, and in a few PDFs, including the 2nd page of the TEC '007 newsletter and page 11 of the Winter 2006 issue of Eye on Ohio newsletter.

A chart of the alphabet could make this lesson easy to follow, or be used for verification if you simply say the alphabet backwards yourself. Another related feat you could use this chart for is TAELBPAH from Harry Lorayne's book, Mathematical Wizardry. In this feat, you learn how to say the alphabet backwards and forwards simultaneously, as in “Z-A-Y-B-X-C-W-D-V-E-U-F-T-G-S-H-R-I-Q-J-P-K-O-L-N-M”.

On the back of your alphabet chart, you could also have a list of which positions of the alphabet are held by which letters, such as A–1, B–2, and so on, up to Z-26. Most people couldn't tell you what the 16th letter of the alphabet is (P), or which letter V is (22nd), so this can be quite a feat, too. You can learn to do this quicker than learning the alphabet backwards with the EJOTY method, as taught in section 2.1 of this article and in this entry of E pluribus Unam's Diary.

The fun part about these alphabet feats is that you can begin by asking your audience who knows the alphabet. Even if every hand goes up, you can still impress with your knowledge of the alphabet that goes far beyond what most people know about it.

Of course, instead of just alphabetical lists, you can have lists on just about any topic you've memorized. In past posts, I've talked about memorizing things like the states and their capitals, chemical elements, Shakespearean histories/tragedies/comedies, degrees of separation between celebrities, the 10 commandments and even the ingredients of a Big Mac!

If these examples don't inspire you as to the possibilities, the quizzes listed in my How Many Xs Can You Name In Y Minutes? post should give you a better idea of the endless possibilities. Often you can create your own mnemonics for any unusual list you choose, but you can also learn by creating your own timed quiz or using flashcard programs, such as the ones I mention here, here and here.

There are myriad things you can print up for your memory binder, but did you realize that your Memory Binder can also hold actual props for a memory act? That will be the topic of my next post.

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